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Beijing Travel Guide


Beijing Introduction


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The famous portrait of Mao Zedong still looks out over Beijing as though he's guarding communist austerity and discipline. But the Beijing he stares out upon is hardly the city he left behind.   Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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Beijing Geography


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Beijing is geographically vast, exceedingly flat and largely treeless (except in parks, scenic spots and areas around the old legation quarter and Forbidden City), with a mishmash of ancient, Communist and, increasingly, futuristic high-rise architectural styles. Sights of interest to visitors are scattered. Tiananmen Square is at the heart of the modern city, but no one would call it downtown. The area east of Tiananmen Square along Chang'an Dajie, focused around the China World Center and CCTV Tower, is now a modern commercial business district.   Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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Beijing History


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Beijing, planted on the edge of a fertile coastal plain, rose from agrarian roots. Nomadic tribes invaded and destroyed it many times over the course of several centuries, but the city was always rebuilt. By the fifth century BC, the area had developed sophisticated administrative networks under a feudal system. It became part of a vast, technologically advanced Chinese empire that was protected—and isolated—from the rest of the world by distance, harsh terrain and a huge wall.   Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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Beijing Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Visitors should make the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and the Drum Tower and Bell Tower their top priorities, along with the Olympic Park. Other temples may be of interest, too. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have flourished alongside one another since the first century. Most temples and monasteries were damaged during the Cultural Revolution, but several, including the Lama Temple and nearby Confucius Temple, have been repaired and are worth seeing.  Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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Beijing Nightlife


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The easing of government policies, growth of creativity in the nightlife scene and an increase in the number of foreigners living in Beijing have given rise to several thriving entertainment spots. Clubs and bars of every stripe line Sanlitun bar street in Chaoyang District, but the area around Houhai Lake (northwest of Beihai Park), with dozens of popular bars, is vying for Sanlitun's crown as Beijing's premier nightlife district. The city's luxury-hotel boom is also adding classy new cocktail lounges across the city.  Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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Beijing Restaurants & Dining


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Both the variety and quality of Beijing's restaurants may surprise you. The city had fewer than 700 restaurants when Mao Zedong died in 1976 (restaurants were considered bourgeois), but energetic entrepreneurs have boosted that number considerably. Today, there are thousands of restaurants serving the cuisines of the world. All the usual Western chains are there, and international restaurateurs have become well-established since the Beijing Olympics.  Click here to see the full Beijing travel guide on Travel42 »

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